Misrepresenting My Audience (of May 2018) with the Dalai Lama.

Recently in a video interview with Voice of Tibet, a staff member of the Dalai Lama’s Private Office, Ngaba Tsegyam-la, claimed I had misrepresented the Dalai Lama’s statements in an audience I was granted last year; that I had claimed the Dalai had said “struggle for independence” (rangzen tso-sho) and that the Middle Way policy …

Extinguishing the Embers of Freedom (Part 1)

The Legacy of the former “Enthroned” Prime Minister, His Eminence, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche. Tibetan historians have used the figurative expression “nurturing the embers of the dharma” (tempae mero solwa) to describe how such dedicated scholars and teachers as Lotsawa Rinchen Sangpo, Lekpe Sherap, Drom Tonpa, and the great Bengali spiritual master, Atisa, labored tirelessly to keep Buddhist teachings alive …

Untangling a Mess of Petrified Noodles II

REFLECTIONS ON GYALO THONDUP & MODERN TIBETAN HISTORY Power Struggle in Exile – The Opening Guns The above image by pioneering color photographer, Ernst Hass, compellingly captures the early Tibetan refugee experience: dislocation, disease, trauma, desperate poverty and so much more. It also underlines the native toughness of these women and men, and their readiness to …

Untangling a Mess of Petrified Noodles

REFLECTIONS ON GYALO THONDUP & MODERN TIBETAN HISTORY Politicians and celebrities around the world employ ghostwriters for their memoirs and screeds. So the autobiography of a prominent Tibetan political figure being ghosted (or co-written) should come as no surprise to anyone. What was unexpected about Mr. Gyalo Thondup’s archly titled The Noodlemaker of Kalimpong (NMK), …

The Clarity of Committment (Part 1)

Quite a few months have passed since the Sikyong elections and the strange events that followed. Nonetheless, being reminded of that depressing experience by a fuzzy Facebook video of the emetic countenance of Speaker Penpa Tsering staring at his rival Dr. Lobsang Sangay being sworn in for yet another five years of purposeless posturing, is still enough to plunge …